Christmas and Vocation

One thing you learn from the doctrine of vocation is that the Christian life includes what we might describe as the secular.  The realm of “Christian” does not consist just of overtly devout exercises.  Rather, it also includes our lives in the family, the workplace, and the community.  This point also applies to how we celebrate Christmas.  We are surely right to complain when Jesus is left out of the celebration of His birthday, but those who complain about the secular observances–wanting it to be just a religious holiday celebrated in church, being irked that even non-Christians are celebrating it, and complaining about all of the presents–may be missing something about the scope of Christ’s reign and the nature of vocation. [Read more...]

He has come to you

The word “advent” derives from the past participle form of venire, the Latin word for “to come,” plus ad, which means “to.”  So the term literally means “has come to.”  The season of Advent, which we have now entered, means that Jesus “has come to” us, to you. [Read more...]

Gratitude day

Happy Thanksgiving!  Luther described gratitude as “the basic Christian attitude.”  One of the words for the Lord’s Supper, “Eucharist,” means simply “thanksgiving.”  (UPDATE:  The Greek word, in turn, means, literally, “good gift.”  And the word for “gift” is related to the word for “grace.”  The “Eucharist” thus connotes God’s good gift and God’s good grace.  And “thanksgiving” is our response to God’s good gifts and to His good grace.”)

After the jump, a brief discussion of gratitude as a Christian concept. [Read more...]

The psychology (and benefits) of gratitude

The field of psychology has usually concentrated on trying to understand aberrations and psychological problems.  But now a strain is concentrating on “positive psychology,” seeking to understand mental well-being.  A key aspect is gratitude.  People who have an attitude of thankfulness show a whole range of other positive traits, not only psychologically but physicially! [Read more...]

Freebies for Veterans Day

On this Veterans Day, let us honor those who served in the military not by pitying them because we think, rightly or wrongly, that they suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome, but by admiring them for their bravery, their patriotism, and their exploits.

And if you are a veteran, check out all the free stuff that companies are giving you to show their appreciation:  Go to Military.com for lists of retailers and travel and recreational offerings.

And in lieu of personally buying you dinner or a drink, after the jump I list a whole slew of chain restaurants. that will treat you on the house.  [Read more...]

The Communion of the Saints

The body consists of innumerable cells.  Each of these has its own distinct life–its own systems of nutrition, reproduction, and protection–and yet these cells group together to form highly specialized organs that, in turn, make up a single body.  The whole scheme, with its incredibly complex relationship of the parts to the whole and the whole to the parts, is astonishing to contemplate.  And the makeup of the body is the Bible’s explanation for the Church and for the relationship each Christian has with the others. This is the “Communion of the Saints” that we celebrated yesterday on All Saints Day. [Read more...]


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